Sunday, June 3, 2012

Maxine Eleanor (Ballew) Farnham 1924-2010

Maxine Eleanor (Ballew) Farnham went home to be with her Lord at 8:40 a.m., Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010, at Sunset Village of the Ozarks, St. Robert, Mo., at the age of 86 years, 3 months and 21 days.

Maxine was born on April 18, 1924, a few miles north of Waynesville, Missouri, in a community known as Sweet Home. Her parents, Mart and Molly Ballew were blessed with two daughters. Maxine's younger sister, Jean Etta was born 13 months later. When Mart, a school teacher, was elected Circuit Clerk and Recorder of Deeds (where he served 20 years), the family moved to Waynesville in January 1926.
Upon their move, the family began attending the Methodist Church.

Since Molly was Methodist, and Mart was Baptist, they would often visit the Baptist Church. In the spring of 1938, Maxine was baptized in the Roubidoux River, just above the bridge along with her sister, Jean Etta, Jim Dodds, and others. Maxine has always been very active in the Waynesville United Methodist Church, serving on the Administrative Board for many years, Finance chair, Secretary Board of Trustees, Worship chair, and other committees.

She enjoyed teaching Sunday school and reading the "Upper Room" and her daily devotionals.

In 1930, Maxine started primary school and was promoted to first grade that year. She attended 12 years of school at Waynesville (much of that meeting in the Methodist Church). Her senior class (1942) was the first to graduate from the "new" school, (former middle school). She was the salutatorian of her class, only hundreds of a tenth percent behind Maurice Eldredge. School activities included: Class offices, band, volley ball, speech, vocal music and was elected yearbook queen.

Maxine met Gene Farnham of Iberia when they were both juniors in high school. He asked one of her friends if they would arrange a date, and they dated all of the next year during the beginning of World War II. Gene was scheduled to go into the service, so he convinced her they should get married.
They eloped and married on Sept. 10, 1942. They lived in Iberia and worked at Farnham and Son, a general store and lumber yard until April, 1945, when they purchased the Waynesville Lumber Company.
They operated this business for 27 years. At one time, she and Gene owned interests in lumber yards in Waynesville, Dixon, Iberia and Osage Beach. She was the bookkeeper for all of these lumber yards. Gene passed away suddenly on April 19, 1995. Gene and Maxine were happily married for 53 years and they shared one daughter, Susan.

Their family soon grew to include Susan's husband, Erv Morriss; two grandchildren: Lindy McKinnon and Michael Morriss and his wife, Jeanne; eight great grandchildren: Richie McKinnon (Alicia Wilson), Melissa Vernon (Brian), Logan McCurley, Makayla Morriss Eddie DeLizo, Jacob Morriss, Eric Morriss and Audrey Lepard and three great-great grandchildren: Richie McKinnon, Jr., Davin and Dailey Vernon. She dearly loved her special nieces: Randee Jean Gibson (Richard) and Rebecca Ballew West (Paul). She also leaves other relatives and many friends.

After working for over 27 years in the lumber business, Maxine worked as payroll clerk for Non Appropriated Funds on Ft. Leonard Wood. A year later, she and Gene purchased Westside Hardware Company, and in 1975, she opened Farnham Real Estate.

She obtained her Real Estate Broker's License and Graduate Realtor Institute Certificate. She owned and operated the realty for 31 years. She enjoyed her clients and spent much of her time helping with questions and coming up with solutions to problems concerning land and property.

Maxine was a very active member of her community and held various offices of responsibility in the following organizations: Waynesville Business and Professional Women's Club (Charter Member 1954, hosted and chaired the annual Senior Girl's Tea for many years), Waynesville-St. Robert Area Chamber of Commerce (Citizen of the Year, 1985), The Order of the Eastern Star of Missouri, Hanson Chapter 22 (member since 1945, Worthy Matron 1955, District Deputy Grand Matron 1962, Grand Representative to South Carolina 1969-71, helped begin and actively involved in the local chapter of the International Order of Rainbow for Girls), Waynesville Lioness Club (charter member), Pulaski County Historical Society and Museum Auxiliary to the Missouri Historical Society, Toastmasters International (charter member), Women's International Bowling Congress, Waynesville Achievement Club, Pulaski County Council for the Handicapped, Theatre Guild Board at Fort Leonard Wood, Pulaski County Board of Realtors and Missouri Association of Realtors, Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation (founder, instrumental in the acquisition of this landmark). Maxine felt very blessed to have traveled to Venice, Rome, France, Ireland, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Mexico, South America, many islands and greater part of the United States.

Visitation will be at noon, with services to follow at 2 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 14, at Waynesville United Methodist Church. Burial will follow in Waynesville Memorial Park Cemetery. Services are under direction of Memorial Chapels and Crematory, Waynesville/St. Robert.

Memorial contributions may be made in memory of Maxine Farnham to the Old Stagecoach Stop Foundation, P.O. Box 585, Waynesville, Mo., 65583.

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